Our current methods of sending materials into space is extremely expensive, mainly because we use rockets which use fuel. The heaver the rocket, the more fuel the rocket needs, but at the same time the more fuel it uses, the heavier it becomes – see how this is a big problem for rocket scientist?
NASA has been trying to look for cheaper alternatives, especially since they are loosing funding, finally a company came forward with a solution that MAY just work. They are bringing forward a vacuum tube that will launch cargo up the side of a mountain and then send it out to low orbit with a very cost effective method.
StarTram, the company that came up with this idea, wants to have an 80 mile long tube that will rest on the side of a mountain. The inside of the tube will have magnets on the sides that will levitate the cargo inside – to lower friction – it will then use a vacuum to fire the cargo at about 20,000 mph.
The initial cost will not be cheap, they are looking at $20 billion dollars over a 10 year period of time. But after it’s finished they estimate that they can get cargo into low orbit for just under $20 per pound. While this is great for sending out cargo pieces and materials into outer space, humans are not going to be able to ride the system. The initial launch speed is going to push out about 30gs, which is enough to end our space career. In order for the tunnel to be used for human transportation, the tunnel needs to be over 800 miles long. via NBF